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28th Heron Quality Star Ratings Released

Released: 28 January, 2020

2020 Calendar Year Assessment

Leading independent superannuation and actuarial consultancy, The Heron Partnership, has released its latest half-yearly assessment of superannuation funds for calendar year 2020

Originally launched in 2006, the 2020 calendar year ratings are the 28th public assessment undertaken by Heron. These ratings covered 190 major superannuation products, which included 39 commercial products, 45 industry funds, 8 Government designated funds, 21 specialist "corporate" products and 77 pension products.

The Heron Partnership's Managing Director, Chris Butler, said, "The primary goal of the Heron rating process is to provide a realistic and objective representation of product strengths and weaknesses. Our ratings are based on feature specific benchmarks that guide our assessors to rate each feature objectively.

Of the 190 superannuation products assessed, 82 have been judged as outstanding quality and awarded 5 Heron Quality Stars. This in itself is an endorsement of the overall quality of the superannuation products available."

The following table lists the superannuation products that received Heron's highest rating.

Outstanding Superannuation Products

AMG Super - Corporate Super IOOF Employer Super
AMG Super - Personal Super IOOF Personal Super
AMP CustomSuper IOOF Pursuit Focus Personal Superannuation
AMP Flexible Super IOOF Pursuit Select Personal Superannuation
AMP Flexible Super - Employer legalsuper
AMP MyNorth LGIAsuper
AMP SignatureSuper Local Government Super
AMP SignatureSuper Select LUCRF
AMP Summit - Personal Super Macquarie Wrap - Super Accumulator
ANZ Smart Choice Super (Employer Sponsored) Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Consolidator
Asgard Elements Super Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Manager
Asgard Employee Super Mercer SmartSuper Plan - Employer Section
Asgard eWRAP Super Mercer Super Trust - Corporate Superannuation Division
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Super MLC MasterKey Business Super
AustralianSuper Personal Plan MLC MasterKey Super Fundamentals
AustralianSuper Plan MTAA Super
AustralianSuper Public Sector Division netwealth Super Accelerator Core - Employer Sponsored Super
AustralianSuper Select netwealth Super Accelerator Plus - Employer Sponsored Super
AvSuper netwealth Super Wrap - Employer Sponsored Super
Bendigo SmartStart Super NGS Super
BT Lifetime Super - Employer Plan OneAnswer Frontier Personal Super and Pension
BT Super Plum Super - Corporate Division
BT Super for Life Plum Super - Personal Division
BT SuperWrap Open Personal Super Plan Prime Super (Health Division)
CareSuper Employee Plan Prime Super (Prime Division)
CareSuper Personal Plan QSuper - Accumulation Account
Catholic Super REST Corporate
Cbus Industry Super REST Super
Child Care Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Employer
Club Plus Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - General
Colonial First State FirstChoice Employer Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Saver
EISS Super smartMonday DIRECT
Equip MyFuture smartMonday PRIME
Equip MyFuture - Corporate Suncorp Brighter Super for Business
First State Super Sunsuper for life
GuildSuper Sunsuper for life Business
HESTA Sunsuper for life Corporate
Hostplus Tasplan
Hostplus Executive Telstra Super - Personal Plus
Hostplus Personal Super Plan UniSuper Accumulation 1
Intrust Super VicSuper FutureSaver

MySuper Investment Option

Heron has again undertaken an assessment of each products MySuper investment option. For their MySuper rating Heron considers the type of option (LifeStages or Single Diversified), the reliability of the historical return history, the TAA range, the level and type of active/passive management, actual or indicative historical investment performance, ease of understanding and fee based on the PDS disclosure. In addition, in assessing the LifeStages options Heron considered whether the structure included cohorts, the cohort age band period and the cohort curve shape.

Based on this assessment criteria, Heron awarded 5 Stars to the following 22 products.

Outstanding MySuper Option

AMG Super - Corporate Super IOOF Employer Super
ANZ Smart Choice Super (Employer Sponsored) Media Super - Employer Sponsored Account
AustralianSuper MTAA Super
Bendigo SmartStart Super NGS Super
CareSuper Employee Plan Prime Super
Cbus Industry Super QSuper
Club Plus Super REST
EISS Super Sunsuper for life
Equip MyFuture Tasplan
HESTA UniSuper Accumulation Super (1)
Hostplus WA Super

The assessment of personal and corporate superannuation products undertaken by Heron covers about 130 key product features that are grouped under 5 Areas of Importance of Investment Arrangements, Insurance, Contributions, Ancillary Benefits, and Communications. Investments and Insurance have the greatest impact on a product's rating with weightings of 55% and 30% respectively.

Based on Heron's numeric rating the following products have been designated as Top Ten Products for Investment Features and as Top Ten Products for Insurance Features.

In alphabetical order the Top 10 Personal and Corporate Products in respect to Investment Features are:

Top 10 Investment Features

Personal Corporate
AustralianSuper Plan AMP Flexible Super - Employer
BT Super AMP SignatureSuper
BT SuperWrap Open Personal Super Plan Asgard Employee Super
CareSuper Personal Plan AustralianSuper Select
Hostplus CareSuper Employee Plan
IOOF Personal Super IOOF Employer Super
Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Consolidator Mercer Super Trust - Corporate Superannuation Division
Plum Super - Personal Division MLC MasterKey Business Super
Sunsuper for life Plum Super - Corporate Division
UniSuper Accumulation Super (1) Sunsuper for life Corporate

In alphabetical order the Top 10 Personal and Corporate Products in respect to Insurance Features are:

Top 10 Insurance Features

Personal Corporate
Asgard Elements Super AMP SignatureSuper
Asgard eWRAP Super ANZ Smart Choice Super (Employer Sponsored)
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Super Asgard Employee Super
AvSuper BT Lifetime Super - Employer Plan
BT Super Mercer Super Trust - Corporate Superannuation Division
legalsuper MLC MasterKey Business Super
Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Consolidator Plum Super - Corporate Division
netwealth Super Accelerator Core - Employer Sponsored Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Employer
Telstra Super - Personal Plus smartMonday PRIME
VicSuper FutureSaver Sunsuper for life Corporate

The Pension products rated as "outstanding quality" and therefore awarded 5 Heron Quality Stars are (in alphabetical order), as follows.

Outstanding Pension Products

AMP Flexible Lifetime Allocated Pension Plan Intrust Super - Super Stream Pension
AMP Signature Super Allocated Pension IOOF Pursuit Focus Allocated Pension
AMP Summit Personal Pension IOOF Pursuit Select Allocated Pension
Asgard Elements Pension legalsuper Pension
Asgard eWRAP Pension MLC MasterKey Pension Fundamentals
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Pension MLC Navigator Retirement Plan Series 2 - Pension Service
AustralianSuper Choice Income MLC Wrap Super - Pension Service
BUSSQ Pension NGS Super Account Based Pension
CareSuper Pension OnePath OneAnswer Frontier Pension
Colonial First State - FirstChoice Pension REST Pension
EISS Pension Suncorp Brighter Super - Pension
Equipsuper Account Based Pension Sunsuper for Life - Income Account
HESTA Income Stream UniSuper Flexi Pension
Hostplus Pension Plan Vision Income Streams

The Heron Quality Star Ratings have 5 levels as follows:

Rating Definition
5 Stars Outstanding
4 Stars Commendable
3 Stars Good
2 Stars Poor
1 Star Unacceptable

Details of the Heron Quality Star Ratings, including the assessment methodology and products awarded with 5 Heron Quality Stars, are featured on The Heron Partnership's web site and their Heron Advisor product research and comparison service.